Posts Tagged ‘past lives’
You are the sum of your past: you learn through experience; the world judges you on our previous actions and inactions; and you interpret your experiences by comparing them with what has come before. Your future welfare, success, health, prosperity and happiness hinge on what you have done and who you have become. All healing is essentially an interaction with the past, it is done by working with the manifestation of that past: you.
This article is the first in a series looking at how we can work with our pasts to bring about healing and strengthening of the self in the present. I will be looking at why past life healing is so important to our welfare, Nothern tradition perspectives on the progress of the soul through lives, and how to enage in long term work with your own past life.
Releasing and restoring
Imagine that you are an iceberg. Bobbing about above the water is the part of yourself that you know well. The surface area of that visible bit of ice is the bit of you that other people can see while, underneath, there’s a whole lot more that is either forgotten, or is made up of the ‘unconscious’ bits of yourself – your body, sleeping awareness, and links to the past beyond your conscious lifetime. Now imagine that the ice is not made up of water, but rather of intricate webs of thoughts, actions, beliefs and behaviours that go to make up you. Some of them play out upon the surface of the ice – but most intertwine around each other, sometimes appearing on the surface, then stretching down into the lower layers of the ice.
Many therapies work by helping us to remove or ’unlearn’ behaviours or beliefs which have become ingrained within us. It is only when we are able to perceive the threads within the ice that we are able to work with them. You may feel that you are trapped within a particular pattern of behaviour or that, every time you try and move forward in your life, you are blocked by an external force, or by feelings that drag you back.
Some people choose to see a ‘talking’ therapist, someone who helps you to trace the threads of the conscious self and recognise the patterns rising up from the unconscious, hidden, parts of your soul. Others choose to see a healer who will work directly with the threads at all levels on their behalf: transforming negative energy into positive; extracting beliefs and behaviours that have been ‘imposed’ from outside (i.e. a thread that is actually someone elses); restoring lost threads that are rightfully yours; and removing blockages so that you are able to access more of your ‘whole self’. Many people choose to do both and, in practice, you will often find that a healer is often qualified in forms of therapy, and vice versa.
Energy healing such as reiki, crystal healing, rune healing and sound healing represent some of the methods that a healer might use to gently release negativity (harmful beliefs and behaviours, blockages and intrusions) and restore positive energies. These are really important healing forms and shamanic healing ceremonies (which we will be looking at later) should always incorporate energy healing to support deeper, more intensive work. These types of ‘releasing and restoring’ healings are carried out regularly by healers and those serious about their own personal healing journey – they represent the on-going maintenance necessary to undertake more challenging work both in healing and everyday life. These types of therapies focus on the person you are now, recognising that the past has had a negative impact and that healing must occur within the present.
Dealing with trauma
Talking therapies help you to trace the threads of the web as they manifest upon the surface of the ice, slowly coming to terms with them and helping you to transform the negative beliefs and behaviours into positive ones. These types of therapies are particularly important for people who are literally trapped by traumatic events to the extent that their present is wholly defined by them. For people whose previous experiences are painful but bearable, talking therapies can occasionally reinforce the pattern of ‘victim’ as the past is replayed over and over again. However, for people who have suffered severe trauma, this is already the case, which is why seeing a therapist who specialises in that area is so important. Imagine that the surface of the ice is extremely fragile, meaning that work needs to progress slowly and carefully. Only once the ice is fairly stable can work be done beneath the surface, allowing the energetic source of suffering to be interacted with directly.
Over time, these sorts of healing will bring you into a state of wellness, inner peace, and balance. From a shamanic perspective, however, they might not have the ‘clout’ necessary to get right down into the depths of the iceberg and find the deep, tightly bound threads that tell us who we are and what we should become – the root may still be buried within the ice meaning the old ways are liable to come back in time. A shamanic healer doesn’t simply recognise that the past has impacted on the present – they seek to journey into that past so that healing may be undertaken at source.
Incidentally, and for those of you of a runic disposition, the rune of ice, Isa, relates to ego and identity. It is a rune of ‘self’ but also represents the desire for stability which can manifest as resistance to change and an unwillingness to let go of the past – even when we know it is bad for us. Isa is often considered to be a dangerous rune, and perhaps a large part of that is based on the fact that its stabilising influence is always focused on the present. One of the goals of many spiritual systems is to be fully ‘present’, not worrying about what has gone before or what is to come; this is the positive aspect of Isa – its negative aspect is a rigid fear of change which holds us, unrelentingly in the present, even when we feel in our hearts that our situation could be better.
I offer gentle energy healings as well as shamanic healing and ceremonies. If you would like to work with me on your own healing journey please see my healer page. I am a shamanic practitioner, meaning that I work with any of the range of healing methods I have trained in as directed by spirit.